Best Casual Restaurants in Nashville

December 4, 2018 | Advertising Disclosure | Our Sponsors may be mentioned in this article.

As fun as it sounds, you can’t have a special-occasion meal every day. Here’s where to eat a good old casual meal—which involves laid-back attire, an affordable menu, and waiter service—in Nashville.

The Best Casual Restaurants in Nashville


Nashville’s newest hip taco joint has tasty Mexican offerings, a solid roster of cocktails, and a lively atmosphere.

  • Neighborhood: Midtown
  • Order This: Braised Chicken Enchiladas (sweet corn, black bean, chihuahua, couscous)
  • See the menu


“Get out without getting fancy” is one of M.L.Rose’s mottos. Expect simple pub food, craft beer, and burgers at this local favorite.

  • Neighborhoods: Melrose, Sylvan Park, Capitol View
  • Order This: Five Alarm burger (jalapeños, habanero jack, five-alarm sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion) with a side of waffle fries
  • See the menu

Party Fowl

From the fiery menu to the 13 giant flat screens, nothing about this hot-chicken mecca is subtle.

  • Neighborhood: The Gulch
  • Order This: Hot Chicken Tacos (it comes with a side of chili beans)
  • See the menu

Burger Up

This community-driven restaurant brings together families and friends over locally sourced beef and produce.

  • Neighborhoods: 12 South, East Nashville
  • Order This: Bison Burger (white cheddar, fried red onion and jalapeños, romaine, tomato, honey dijon aioli) with a side of truffle fries
  • See the menu

Pinewood Social

Swing by Pinewood any time of day for a quick refuel—breakfast, lunch, and dinner items are all equally delicious.


In this casual, family-friendly setting, organic pastas and pizzas taste like fine Italian dining. (Yes, even the risotto balls.)

  • Neighborhood: Sylvan Park
  • Order This: Pistachio Ravioli (with mint, lemon brown butter, grana padano)
  • See the menu

Whiskey Kitchen

One of the more casual restaurants under the M Street umbrella, Whiskey Kitchen always hits the spot for lunch or dinner.

  • Neighborhood: The Gulch
  • Order This: Tennessee Cuban (pit ham, pulled pork, TN Beer Mustard, swiss, dill pickles)
  • See the menu


Neighbor’s has two locations (Germantown and Sylvan Park), both boasting a chill environment, tasty pub grub, and an excellent selection of brews.

  • Neighborhoods: Sylvan Park, Germantown
  • Order This: Smoked Wings
  • See the menu

The Stillery

A quick sit-down meal is possible in Midtown or Downtown, courtesy of The Stillery. Drinks at both locations are stiff and plentiful.

  • Neighborhoods: Downtown, Midtown
  • Order This: Sonoran Burger (with roasted jalapenos, caramelized onion, bacon, pepper jack, roasted garlic aioli)
  • See the menu

Von Elrod’s

While Germantown has seen a surge in fine dining, this low-key beer garden and sausage house has been welcomed with open arms.

  • Neighborhood: Germantown
  • Order This: Angry Bird (spicy chicken sausage, corn relish, avocado, buttermilk dill ranch)
  • See the menu

The Pharmacy

The Pharmacy’s burgers are indeed like medicine—even if you eat too much, you’ll walk out of this joint with a spring in your step.

12 South Taproom

Cheers to this longtime 12 South gathering spot for friends, families, and—when it’s nice out—their pups.

  • Neighborhood: 12 South
  • Order This: Veggie Melt (mozzarella, basil pesto, zucchini, squash, marinated onion, spinach)
  • See the menu

51 North Taproom

Like its sister property, the 12 South Taproom, 51 North is armed with mouthwatering bar fare and plenty of beers on tap.

  • Neighborhood: The Nations
  • Order This: Gobblin Goat (goat cheese, turkey, sun-dried tomato, spinach, sourdough)
  • See the menu


Check the forecast, then chill outside or inside as you chow down on tacos, rice bowls, and assorted seafood dishes at Bartaco.

Pancho & Lefty’s

If you’re in a time crunch and need to scarf down dinner before a concert or Preds game, take advantage of Pancho & Lefty’s speedy service and easy access to downtown music venues.

Hopsmith Tavern

New to the Nashville scene, Hopsmith shines brightest as a brunch destination or gathering spot for watching a game.

  • Neighborhood: Midtown
  • Order This: Jacked Up Brussels (fried Brussels sprouts, orange segments, spiced pecans, goat cheese cake, candied orange peel, Jack Daniel’s vinaigrette)
  • See the menu

Tenn 16

East Nashville could use more above-average casual restaurants—in the meantime, you can’t go wrong with the fried grub and friendly service at Tenn 16.

  • Neighborhood: East Nashville
  • Order This: Creole pasta (spicy Creole tomato sauce, andouille sausage, bell peppers, onions, celery, penne)
  • See the menu


While known for its pizzas, Mafiaoza’s has a full roster of pastas, salads, and apps that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Neighborhood: 12 South
  • Order This: Brother Fredo pizza (with spinach, alfredo, roasted chicken, artichokes, cheese)
  • See the menu


Take a walk on the Flipside if you love retro vibes and are craving chicken of any variety. (Not into poultry? Go anyway and get the tater tot nachos.)

  • Neighborhood: 12 South
  • Order This: Memphis Jack’s Best (with BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar, pickle)
  • See the menu


We can’t say this for every place in town: No matter how long the line is for your meal at Tavern, the wait will be worth it.

The Best Fast-Casual Restaurants

Sometimes even waiter service is a little too fancy for your needs. Here are the top fast-casual restaurants in Nashville.





Hattie B’s


Taqueria del Sol

Five Points Pizza

Frothy Monkey

Mitchell Delicatessen

Greko Greek Street Food

Grilled Cheeserie

Local Taco

Mas Tacos

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • See the menu

Vui’s Kitchen

Sunflower Cafe

Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen

Slim & Husky’s

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